Prayer Guide: Psalm 39

Psalm 39 (ESV)

To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

 I said, “I will guard my ways,
    that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
    so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute and silent;
    I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.
    My heart became hot within me.
As I mused, the fire burned;
    then I spoke with my tongue:

“O Lord, make me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
    and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
    Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing[a] they are in turmoil;
    man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
    My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.
10 Remove your stroke from me;
    I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
11 When you discipline a man
    with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
    surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord,
    and give ear to my cry;
    hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
    a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again,
    before I depart and am no more!”

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


God’s Praiseworthy Attributes:

  • Causes us anguish to draw us to him – v. 2
  • Works within us until we come before him – v. 3
  • Knows the number of our days – vv. 4 & 5
  • Is eternal – v. 4
  • Our hope is in him – v. 7
  • Saves us from our transgressions – v. 8
  • Saves us from those who mock us – v. 8
  • Rebukes us for our sin – v. 11
  • Disciplines us for our sin – v. 11
  • Hears our prayer – v. 12
  • Hears our cry – v. 12

Possible Prayer Prompts:

  • I praise you that you are eternal because…
  • I praise you that you have saved me from…
  • I praise you that you rebuked me when…
  • I praise you for your discipline in my life when…


  • Thank you for drawing me back to you …
  • I confess that I am silent before you about…
  • Help me to remember your eternal perspective about …
  • God, I confess _______ to you…


  • Help me to have an eternal perspective in my numbered days…
  • Save me from my transgressions of…
  • God, convict me of my sin of…
  • God, gently discipline me so that I …
  • God, hear my cry for help about…


  • God, I know I will rejoice in you again in…
  • Lord, help me to look to you for hope in…
  • Lord, help me to repent and turn to you today when…